Aj Luca profile

BM '11, MM '12

Jazz Studies (MM)

How did this dichotomy develop? As the child of a piano player dad and singer mom and the niece of a Broadway actor, AJ was always surrounded by the performing arts and never questioned her love for all things musical and theatrical. She began her own career in the arts at age 10 when she played Brigitta in “The Sound of Music” national tour. While continuing her theatrical endeavors in New York and Philadelphia in regional theater, workshops, educational films, commercials, acting classes at Stella Adler Studio and dance classes at Broadway Dance Center NY, AJ also cultivated her musical inclinations by studying jazz piano (Joe Luca, Mike LeDonne), flute (Dr. Christine Hansen) and voice (Kathy Cavell).

AJ received her Bachelor of Music from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she graduated with honors and was blessed to study with Don Glanden and Tom Lawton (piano), Jeff Kern (voice), Tony Salicandro (flute) and Grammy-winner Scot Sax (songwriting). She had the opportunity to play piano and flute and sing in diverse styles and ensembles, including big bands piano trios, and a capella vocal groups. She was chosen to represent the school by playing in Chicago with the “Z” Big Band, in Japan with Rumble and in Italy with Jazz Singers. While studying at UArts, AJ deepened her presence in the Philadelphia theater scene by performing her solo cabarets at Society Hill Playhouse (Quince Productions), accompanying other singers in cabarets and auditions, and music directing/composing for Hear Again Radio Project in the Philly Fringe for three consecutive seasons.

Combining her passions for theater and music, AJ was thrilled to present her solo concert at the Stella Adler Studio in NYC in November 2013 as part of the David Oppenheim Concert Series. Continuing her relationship with the Stella Adler Studio is close to AJ’s heart and she was delighted to play Rachel Rocket in the staged reading of the new musical “Crowned” (Anton Dudley/Brian Feinstein) at Adler in the summer of 2014.

AJ received her Master of Music from the University of the Arts in May 2012. Upon graduating, she released her debut solo EP, “Sunshine Sessions,” produced by Scot Sax at Songlife Studios in Philadelphia. She performs regularly as a pianist/vocalist in jazz clubs, restaurants, concerts, cabarets, weddings and private parties. In addition to singing and playing her original singer-songwriter material, some of AJ’s favorite groups to perform with are her a capella group the Dolls, jazz vocalist Elizabeth Ross and the Philly Big Band. AJ is also passionate about sharing her love of the arts with others as a piano, voice and flute teacher, and as an audition coach for singers and actors. AJ joined the faculty of UArts in the summer of 2012 and is thrilled to be teaching theory and piano classes, lessons, and an a capella group.